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SPEC is Achieving Early Success This Legislative Session

With the legislative session well under way; SPEC has already seen a number of successes.  In both the Assembly and the Senate, bills keyed “fiscal” have to be out of their policy committees by Friday May 3rd.  Non-fiscal bills have to be out of their policy committee by May 10th.  Currently all SPEC supported bills have been moving through the legislative process successfully.

Two of Senator Bill Monning’s bills SB 261 and SB 262, sponsored by the Contractor State Licensing Board (CSLB) have moved out of their respective policy committees, passed out of Appropriations, and are set to be heard on the Senate Floor.  Senator Monning’s third bill SB 263, also sponsored by CSLB, has moved out of the Senate Business, Profession, and Employment Development Committee and will now be heard within the Senate Judiciary Committee.

  • SB 261 would permit the CSLB to bring administrative remedies against contractors who operate without a license.   These remedies are separate or in addition to civil or criminal penalties.
  • SB 262 requires the person qualifying on behalf of a contracting firm to be responsible for exercising direct supervision and control in order to secure full compliance with the Contractors Law.  If these provisions are violated, it is grounds for a misdemeanor.
  • SB 263 would permit the CSLB to pursue disciplinary action against a contractor who aids or abets an unlicensed contractor.  Or who knowingly contracts with an unlicensed contractor.  The burden is on the accused contractor to prove licensure.  Additionally if a person uses a contractor who is unlicensed, they may recoup whatever they paid that contractor for performance.

Senator Alex Padilla’s bill SB 270 has passed out of both the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee and Appropriations committee and will now be heard on the Senate floor.

  • SB 270 would require to the extent feasible, that agencies participating in the Joint Enforcement Strike Force, to coordinate their law enforcement activities, and to share information regarding the Underground Economy.

Assembly Member Eric Linder’s AB 993, sponsored by CSLB, passed out of Assembly Judiciary Committee on April 23rd 10-0, and will now be heard in Assembly Business, Professions and Consumer Protections Committee.

  • AB 993 would prevent an arbitrator from awarding specific performance.  Therefore not putting a customer in the uncomfortable position of having to continue a working relationship with a contractor who did an unsatisfactory job or where a contract dispute had arisen.

Lastly SPEC worked hard to kill a late, “gut and amend,” AB 1138, by Assembly member Ed Chau.  AB 1138 would have required employers to have updated workers compensation policies at all times.  If there was a name missing from the policy, even if due to a clerical error, the employer  would have been presumed to have committed workers compensation fraud.  The employer would have then been charged with a misdemeanor.  A later version of the bill would have allowed any employee to request from the employer an updated list of every employee covered on the workers compensation policy creating very serious privacy issues and feasibility issues for employers.  SPEC came out early and aggressively meeting with members of the Assembly Insurance Committee to ensure  this bill’s defeat.

We are remaining vigilant and watching other bills that could impact our members both positively or negatively.  We are very encouraged that the aforementioned bills we are supporting will continue to move successfully through the legislative process and will continue to work to ensure their success.

About SPEC

SPEC, the California Spa & Pool Industry Education Council, serves as the statewide public policy representative for the pool, spa, and hot tub industry.  We advocate on behalf of industry interests before the California Legislature and state and local regulatory agencies, and for individual members dealing with enforcement issues.  Working daily on the industry’s behalf, we have an unmatched track record in successfully negotiating and fighting against unreasonable and costly legislation and for enforcement of unlicensed contractor laws.  SPEC promotes the highest standards of professional conduct in pool construction, service, and repair, and seeks to educate the public on the proper maintenance and safe use of swimming pools, spas, and hot tubs.  For nearly 40 years, SPEC has been the only organization registered to lobby at the State Capitol on behalf of the pool, spa, and hot tub industry.  SPEC is funded by membership donations.  For more information on SPEC and legislation we are watching, visit www.calspec.org, or call 916-447-4113.